Rylee SmithPIASA - Senior basketball player Rylee Smith has helped Piasa Southwestern High School to start the 2020-21 season very well, helping the Piasa Birds to a 3-1 record, gaining wins over Brussels, Pana and Gillespie, the latter two in the South Central Conference.

For her efforts on the court, Smith has been named the Southwestern High School Riverbender.com female Athlete of the Month.

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Smith, who plays for head coach Steve Wooley, feels she earned this month's honor for two very important reasons.

"Hard work and determination," Smith said.

Smith also thanked God, along with her family and coaches, for helping her achieve her basketball goals.

"I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play basketball," Smith said. "I would like to thank my family and coaches for always encouraging me and pushing me to work harder."

Athlete of the Month is sponsored by

Smith has played since a young age, and enjoys many of the aspects and benefits from playing basketball.

"I've played basketball since third-grade," Smtih said. "I love the competition and my teammates."

Smith has also learned many of the lessons that sport teaches young people as well.

"It has given me self-discipline," Smith said, "and has taught me to work hard for the things I want to do."

Smith is also a member of the school's chapter of the National Honor Society, and loves to work out and play basketball in her spare time. She plans on attending Webster University in Webster Groves, Mo., next fall, and major in exercise science. She also will play for the Gorlocks' women's team as well.

Riverbender.com's Athlete of the Month program is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and the cooperation of our area high schools. This is a great accomplishment and one to be very proud of. Please join us in congratulating this young athlete. We at Riverbender.com wish you continued success in your future!

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